Evaluatio2 - Evaluation To evaluate this particular form of...

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Evaluation To evaluate this particular form of New Right Realism, we can look at two distinct, but related, aspects: 1. Theoretical problems : a. Normative theories , such as Control theory , presuppose that "most people" are not involved in crime. In this respect, the distinction between "criminal" and "law-abiding" is not necessarily an easy one to maintain (as numerous self- report studies have shown). How, in this instance, can informal controls be effective if those supposedly doing the controlling are themselves involved in criminal behaviour? b. Normative theories involve a sense of " self-regulation " and, as we have seen in relation to white-collar crime, self-regulation tends to be a recipe for unequal treatment - allowing the criminal to escape the consequences of their behaviour, for example. c. Moral arguments are not open to testing - why should we, for example, accept a concept of morality that clearly favours the rich and powerful at the expense of the poor and powerless? 2. Practical problems : a. Informal control measures (such as Neighbourhood Watch schemes, video camera surveillance and so forth) tend to simply displace crime rather than deter it. b. "Commonsense" notions - rather than empirical evidence - hold centre stage in these types of theory. Little attempt is made to show why we should accept New Right arguments about the nature and extent of criminal behaviour. c. Morally, the New Right argument is basically that since everyone is a potential criminal our behaviour should be closely watched and monitored at all times. Quite apart from the fact we might consider this "cure" to be worse than the "disease" itself, it begs the question of who should do the watching and monitoring - and to what potential use they might put the information they gather.
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